Irina Shayk’s topless photo in support of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign has sparked controversy. Does the supermodel and girlfriend of soccer star Christiano Ronaldo help advance awareness of the plight of the kidnapped Nigerian teenage schoolgirls or does she instead bring the attention upon herself? It’s fueled an intense debate online even as the image continues to go viral.
As with Twitter, Instagram gets instant attention and with it the potential for instant controversy. Already it’s arguable that it should not have taken a Twitter hastag activism campaign to get the world’s attention on the plight of more than 200 Nigerian school girls kidnapped and held as hostages by the Boko Haram who are considered to be terrorists.
And now that the campaign has begun, it continues to drive its own controversy.
Enter one supermodel of Sports Illustrated fame, who’s also the girlfriend of the Portuguese footballer Christiano Ronaldo. She would seem to play right into self-absorption and shallow stereotypes of such with her image, which you can see above and scan below to click for an even bigger image of same.
It’s true that Irina Shayk joins many luminaries in the campaign — ranging from such public figures as the teen activist Malala Yousafzai, First Lady Michelle, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister David Cameron to celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Amy Poehler, Alicia Keys and many others. But everyone else has managed to keep the self-promotion that’s inevitable reasonably within the bounds of tastefulness. And, even if not so much so, at least they have kept the clothes on their self-serving backs.
But going topless to free hostages? It is just a unbridled and myopic opportunism? That’s been the accusation leveled against her. Just some topless grandstanding? An unfortunate detour in the conversation which, if anything, should be about the kidnapped girls.
The Twitterverse has slammed Irina Shayk for her topless selfie and media outlets are beginning to take notice. While Twitter can be a breeding ground for bullying, we can also find real gems of insight. Perhaps one Tweet in particular sums up the extreme callousness. “Would you stand there naked wishing sorrow on the 9/11 victims? Would you do it for the tsunami? This is a tasteless attitude to 200 missing girls.”
Yes, indeed. Well said! Sadly it has taken a #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign but now it’s time to put the focus back on those missing Nigerian teenage girls and their family and loved ones who are still in anguish.